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Thursday, February 21, 2008

You Asked - We Listened

If you've clicked into our Library Catalog during the last four days, you may have noticed something new up at the top of the screen. You can see a picture of that something new just up above these words - the blue log-in screen? I've been the Web Services Librarian here in Des Plaines for eight and a half months. During that time, the number one complaint I've received from patrons has been: "When I use the Library Catalog and I want to place holds on several items, WHY do I have to enter my library card number and password every single time?" It's a hassle, it's a time-waster, and now -- it's history. Welcome to our new, multiple-hold log-in service!

If you're the type who knows you might place holds on several books or DVDs at once, you'll love this new service. From the basic search screen in our Catalog, find the log-in boxes at the top of the screen. HINT: If you log in through the "My Account" feature, you will still have to enter your library card number and password for every hold. Log in at the top, in the blue page header, for multiple holds.

Fill in your library card number and your password. HINT: Everyone has the generic password patron - we advise that you change your password if you tend to use the library's computers to order your materials. This will protect your privacy. To change your password, log into "My Account," then click on "User Password Change." Pick something easy for you to remember.

Once you've typed in your library card number and password, you are free to search our catalog for books, CDs, DVDs and other materials, not only within our library but all of our consortial, partner libraries as well. You have dozens of libraries at your fingertips. Find an item you want? Click the blue "Place Hold" button.

  • If the item is at one of our partner libraries, they'll send it here to DPPL and we'll call you to tell you it has arrived.

  • If the item is checked out, you'll be entered into the system (in a line known as a "queue") and when it's your turn, we'll hold that item just for you. You will be notified that the item is being held and you will have four days to pick it up.

  • NOTE - our Circulation department advises that if you want us to hold a Des Plaines Public Library item for you, the fastest and most efficient way to do this is to call the library at (847) 827-5551. Your call will be directed to the appropriate floor of the library, someone will check the shelf for the item, pull it for you if it is available, and you have that day plus three business days to pick it up on the first floor. If you place a hold on a Des Plaines Public Library item through the Catalog, it won't be pulled until the next day and someone may check it out in the meantime. If you need it, fast, give us a call.
With the new, multiple-hold log-in, you can do this over and over again during a session, without unnecessary retyping of your card number and password. And we think that's pretty awesome.

Now - a caveat, because of course technology can never be simple! The multiple-hold log-in can tell by your library card number which library issued the card. For example, even if you are on DPPL's Web site, if you enter a Niles Public Library card number, the log-in will take you to the Niles library Web site and only allow you to place holds to be picked up at that library. In that case, your other option is to continue to place holds the "old-fashioned" way: one at a time. We wish we could customize our system to work with all library cards, but because our Catalog is shared between many member libraries, we have to work within the consortial agreement.

We hope you enjoy our new, multiple-hold log-in service. Please - if you have questions about the service or if you try it and encounter difficulties, let us know. You can post a comment here by clicking on "Comments." You can email me directly from this link: Email the Web Services Librarian, or use the following link to email our Webmaster through our Web site: Email the Webmaster

1 comment:

  1. I just tried it out and it works great. Thanks for listening!


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